“NextGen” training program for young journalists to be cut as NPR downsizes

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Behind last week’s headlines of NPR show cancellations and journalists losing their jobs, NPR eliminated Next Generation Radio, a training program created and managed by veteran producer Doug Mitchell. “What ‘NextGen’ (as it was known) did was to find young people from various backgrounds and give them the sense of wonder about radio journalism in all its forms,” writes Jeffrey Dvorkin, former NPR ombudsman, on his blog. “Doug taught these kids about sound and story-telling and taking risks.” Dvorkin describes the decision to let Mitchell go as a “huge loss for the company,” and so far 159 Facebook users have endorsed this view by joining the group “Save Doug Mitchell’s job.” Mitchell describes the rationale for NextGen, and its strategic importance to public radio, in this 2003 Current commentary.